Category Archives: Grace

Third Week of Lent: Generosity

Gracious God,

We’re feeling particularly generous this time of year, Lord.
It is a time of giving.

You demonstrated to us what it means
to give Yourself wholly in Jesus.
He is wholly Divine: nothing held in reserve.
You gave yourself to us.
To be with us; to be one of us.

Teach us to imitate you.
To not be miserly with our most precious possessions—
our kindness,
our forgiveness,
our peace.
Teach us to live in the freedom of your abundance.

Remind us whose we are
So that the question shifts from
asking ourselves what we should give
to what we should keep.

Because You gave yourself so freely,
we live out of the abundance of your generosity–
a life with an open palm and a loose hand
instead of a tightly gripped fist.
Your generosity is our grace.

And it is out of this generous grace
that we open our hearts to one another
and hear each other’s concerns
and celebrate each other’s joy.
Let us hear the prayers of this congregation!

[read aloud prayer cards]

And we acknowledge that we all have concerns
or moments of joy
which really aren’t fit for public consumption.
So we hold these quietly, to ourselves.
But have confidence that you hear us, even in our silence.

[pause for silent prayer]

Your unreserved generosity holds us in grace.

And the new fallen snow refreshes and reminds us
that new every morning is your love
Great God of Light
and all day long you are working for Good in the world.
Stir up in us a desire to serve
To live peaceably with our neighbors
and to devote each day to walking in the living tradition of Jesus
who lived without reservation
and welcomed those who were isolated
and cared for the poor
and tended to those in need.

Blessed Be!

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Advent, Grace

November 23, 2014– Enough!

Gracious God,

This is the season of gratitude.
And we gather together in a spirit of Thanksgiving–
aware of our giftedness
and the source of all things given.

As we celebrate your overflowing
grace and love for us,
help us to also remember
when we’ve had enough.

Enough…
that your grace is sufficient…
that we don’t, under your grace,
live out of an economy of scarcity;
that your grace teaches us
how to be satisfied.
And our satisfaction results in divine generosity.

Teach us to rejoice in the divine “Enough!”.

And open our hearts
to those who aren’t experiencing “enough”–
those in need of divine generosity.
Both our expressions of satisfaction and need
can be heard through our congregational prayers.

So we lift them up to you:
[read aloud the prayers of the congregation]

We lift them up to you.

And we acknowledge the unspoken prayers which linger in our hearts.
[pause for silent prayer]

Hear us in our silence, too–
in those gaps which express need and satisfaction.

We are reminded of your abundance
renewed each morning with the light of day.
All day long you are working for good in the world.

Let your abundance spark within us
the divine “enough” so that we’ll have
the desire to serve and live peaceably.

Devote our ways to the living traditions of Jesus
to welcome the excluded
and care for those in need;
to allow your grace to be sufficient
to live out of divine generosity.

Blessed Be!

Leave a comment

Filed under Grace, Inclusion, Justice, Thanksgiving

October 19, 2014–(In)dependence

Gracious God,

We are an independent lot, Lord.
We each have our own opinions
and our own ideas
of how the world should work–
of how each other should be.

We seek our own light
and our own truth.

Everything can be customized
and tailored to suit.
Even our spirituality.

But in spite of all that,
and against our better judgement,
we gather together as one body
these Sunday mornings.

This ‘gathering’ is an act of cultural defiance–
a protest against rampant individuality
and consumerism.

We gather collectively as an act of trust
that your presence is in, around, and among us.
We hold to the promise of your faithfulness and love
that when two or three are gathered, you will dwell among us.

And so gathering together like this displaces our egos
and opens our hearts and minds
to the Spirit’s leading
to compassion.

As our individual prayers  are read aloud before the congregation
they are transformed into the collective prayer
and hope of us all.

So we ask you to hear the prayers of this gathering.
[read aloud the prayer cards]

And we acknowledge those intimate thoughts,
concerns and hopes that feel
too tender of fragile to speak aloud.

We trust those to your presence too.
[pause for silent prayer]

Hear our silent prayers!

Bind us together
as a collective
and move our hears and minds
towards a good that is greater than our individual egos.

Open us to your leadership–
to learn a new way.

Inspire us by your faithfulness and love
and renew our hearts
through contemplation
towards action
for the love of our neighbors
and this world.

Blessed Be.

Leave a comment

Filed under Faith, Grace, Holy Spirit, Justice

September 14, 2014– HOPE

Gracious God,

We gather together today
aware of your presence in the cool breeze
which awakens our senses
and refreshes our outlook.

It is easy–far too easy–God, to be weighed down
by the news of terrorism,
war,
domestic violence,
abuse–
some of which seems foreign and far off–
others of which are known far too personally.

Your refreshing cool breeze
reminds us of our hope:
that things can change;
that permanence is illusion;
that nothing is final.

Remind us, Divine One,
as we lift up our concerns to you,
of this hope which grants us buoyancy
and refuses to let us sink.

[read aloud the prayer cards]

Hope floats on the wings of your Spirit.

So remind us daily
of the presence of your Spirit
in, among, and around us.

Hope is a commitment and spiritual practice
that must be renewed daily.

Hope not only sees, but actively works for good in the world.

It stirs up in us a desire to serve
and to live peaceably and justly.

Hope motivates us on our spiritual paths
as we practice the living traditions of Jesus:
who welcomed those in need of hospitality;
who cared for the least among us
and made them his priority;
who considered the price of grace
and offered it anyway.
And who never gave up hope.

Blessed Be!

Leave a comment

Filed under Grace, Holy Spirit, Hope, Inclusion, Peace

August 10, 2014– Seeing as Jesus sees

Gracious God,

We are a people who love war.
We say we want peace,
but too often we are at war with ourselves,
with our neighbors,
with those whose thinking differs from ours.

We are quick to judge,
and slow to grace.

Our own broken lenses skew our perspectives–
whether we are staring in the mirror,
or out our own windows.

So we gather together as a community of faith–
trusting in your presence in and among us–
to open our hearts and minds
to clear our vision
that we can begin to see
each other as you see us.

As we lift up the prayers of this congregation,
instill in us your love,
your grace,
and your peace–
towards ourselves and towards each other.

[read aloud the prayer cards]

And help us to acknowledge the silence that often speaks louder that words.
Hear our unspoken prayers as well!

[pause for silent prayer]

Teach us to listen–
to ourselves and each other–
in our silences.

And remind us that love is a commitment
renewed each morning.
It works for good in the world.
It stirs up in us a desire to serve
and a longing to be peaceable.
It breaks us open to vulnerability
and strengthens our resolve
to walk in the living traditions of Jesus:
to see the stranger and greet them with open arms;
to care for those in need;
to welcome the disenfranchised.

Teach us how to best love
and best live out your peace.

Blessed Be!

1 Comment

Filed under Grace, Inclusion, Peace

July 20, 2014–Teach us to learn

Gracious God,

We gather today to learn.
Open our hearts and minds
and soften our critiques
so that we can hear each other
and attend to our own growth.

Fill us with your grace
as we hear the prayers of this congregation:

[read aloud prayer cards]

Our prayers reflect our trust and our hope.

And for those sweet inexpressible moments
we offer up our thanks;
And for those agonizing moments of pain
we offer up our trust.

Hear us in our silent prayers.

[pause for silent prayer]

Our silence reflects our trust and our hope.

Remind us, O God,
that new every morning
is your love.
All day long it works for good in the world.
Stir up in us a desire to serve
and to live peaceably with our neighbors
as we devote our ways to walking
in the living traditions of Jesus.

As we learn from each other
and open ourselves to the disenfranchised
and care for the vulnerable.
Teach us to desire justice
and extend your grace.

Blessed Be.

Leave a comment

Filed under Change, Grace, Hope, Justice

June 7, 2014–Pentecost

O Divine Spirit,

We gather this Pentecost morning
drawn in by your Spirit
and its promise of new ways of speaking
and renewed understandings;
of youthful passion
and the wisdom that accompanies age.
You unite us across the most impenetrable boundaries
and open our hearts to one another.

Blow like a mighty rushing wind
across this congregation!
Sweep the dust from the corners of our minds and hearts
and grant us a fresh perspective
–a breath of new life
–a cool breeze for our fevered pace.
Alight on us anew!
And carry on your winds the prayers of this congregation!

[read aloud the prayer cards]

We breathe you in and out.
Even when we fail to utter aloud our concerns
we trust your presence with us.
Sustain our silent prayers on buoyant wings
and raise them up:

[pause for silent prayer]

Remind us, Holy One,
that the practice of the presence of the Spirit
is a discipline and commitment that is renewed daily.
It works for good in the world.
It stirs up in us a desire to serve
and to live peaceably.
And to devote our ways to the living traditions of Jesus
who welcomed the excluded,
tended to those in need,
and challenged injustice.

Fill us with your grace!

Blessed Be!

1 Comment

Filed under Grace, Holy Spirit, Inclusion, Justice, Pentecost